ALTDBZ RULES
Section III, Power Level
Subsection C, Psi Power

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Psi is energy created through a person's willpower. A wielder of psi is called a "psion". The power comes from a specific part of the brain that most sentient species have, but in most people, is dormant. Psions are usually either born that way, or have an operation by another psion or very advanced technological methods to activate the lobe. Because most psions are the products of evolution, psions have tended to build a stereotype that all psions are extremely intelligent, consistent with a brain that has evolved along with the ability. This is not always the case, and a normal person who gains use of psi does not suddenly become more intelligent.

As fighters, psions tend to be more defensive than offensive. They have superior sensing abilities, allowing them to perceive things in beyond perfect detail in all directions around them at once, and can execute both offense and defensive telekinetic maneuvers without so much as the movement of a limb. They are most proficient at close-quarters combat, but are a force to be reckoned with at a distance as well, with telekinetic bursts called "waves" and "rushes" that are only seen as nearly invisible ripples in the air.

The Slot System

Most psionic powers operate in AltDBZ using a system of "slots". Psions have multiple slots at their command (beginner characters start with 3) and, during each turn, a psion can do one completely separate thing with each slot. They include:

  • Passive Defense - A pillow of defense that surrounds the psi user. All unused slots do this if they're not doing anything else.
  • Active Defense - Short-range telekinesis meant to stop or hamper attacks. Weaker than passive, but doesn't deplete as quickly.
  • TK Wave - Telekinetic thrusts, which act as a psion's elementary attack. Effective both close and at a range.
  • TK Rush - Concentrated outpourings of willpower, similar in function to a ki stream attack.
  • Body Movement - Telekinetic movement of the body through the air, or acceleration of the limbs.

Techniques

Psions can use techniques, as well, and they may be made to consume as few as one slot or as many as three each, but ONLY ONE technique may be used per post, regardless of how many slots the tech consumed, or there are remaining. Remaining slots may be used for any other non-technique actions that the user wants to do. Characters with multiple power levels may not use one technique per power level -- they are still restricted to using one technique and only one. Psi is the only energy type that allows for non-technique actions to take place when it or any other power level uses a technique in the same post.

Sphere of Influence

Aside from techniques, however, psions can do several things with their slots, many of them listed above. Most times, this must start within their sphere of influence, which is a special, invisible, 2-foot radius area surrounding and emanating from every part of a psion's body (thus, it's shape isn't usually really a sphere). Anywhere within this sphere, a psion can make a telekinetic event happen, such as a wave, rush, or even a grab at an offending arm. Psions should be wary of their actions within this sphere, however, as any telekinetic action that is touched while still within the sphere of influence is connected directly to the psion, and so an opponent could possibly grab this existence and forcibly move the psion by it, should the opponent overpower it. However, the only place where a psion can manage to put all of his/her slots together is within this sphere.

Active Defense

Among the first actions most natural to a Psion with his/her slots is defense. There are two types: active, and passive. Active defense works just like blocking would for a martial artist. As attacks enter the sphere of influence, the user can make conscious efforts to prevent their progress by forming solid structures like hands or arcs, which stay within the sphere. Each individually distinguished active defense effort takes at least one slot up. Each slot invested provides 20% PsiPL worth of strength to the associated action, and every part of the action moves no faster than 50% PsiPL in speed (this does not increase with additional slots). The efforts may move about within their permitted area as the psion wishes. Unlike the larger-scale telekinetic rushes and waves, Active Defense may not be charged.

Two or more slots can be combined seamlessly in this particular case, and you also have the option to lower the strength of a defensive action if you wish. You can break up a single slot into multiple parts when the effect is limited to your sphere of influence, but the result of it has to be limited to a single general direction (more specifically, if you form an outward cone from a point of your body sloping 20 degrees in all directions, the active defense cannot span wider than inside that cone.) As with all telekinetic powers, in order for an effect to have anything different from a generally blunt, domelike shape, you must invest in specialized techs. Thus, creating a telekinetic sword or hand would not be possible, at first.

Passive Defense

Passive Defense is activated any time you don't use a slot, in most cases, unless you specifically turn it off (you cannot turn Passive Defense off and then on again in the same post). It becomes a cushion of invisible armor that lies on top of your character's skin. This armor's strength draws from a pool of 300% Psi PL durability. For each slot given to passive defense, 100% PsiPL more durability is available. If more slots are given to Passive Defense than there is remaining in the pool, the excess slots only perform partial or no duty at all. For instance, if a character only has 200% durability left in the pool, and leaves three slots to Passive Defense, the third slot would do nothing at all.

While this may seem better than Active Defense, the passive defenses are worn down with damage like a ki fighter's durability. Active defense is refreshed each post, and is only limited by stamina. Active Defense can be used in much more efficient methods than Passive Defense, and stamina replenishes itself where the Passive Defense pool does not. What's more, the defense acts just like a skin-tight cushion, meaning, though it may absorb greater blows, attacks will still cause the cushion to press into the user's body, and especially testing attacks can send the user flying. Active defense slows or prevents the process of the passive layer being worn down, and is less prone to effects on the user. Note that even when the user is unconscious, so long as he/she is alive, the passive defense is still active.

Telekinetic Waves and Rushes

A psion's offense usually takes the form of telekinetic assaults that extend well beyond their sphere of influence, though they always begin from somewhere within the sphere. There are two basic types that a beginning psion may execute: a "rush" and a "wave". A wave is a sort of projectile attack where a wide, 3 foot-wide swath of air is compressed and shot in a single direction, consuming a single slot and causing 20% of the psion's PsiPL in damage. It can be thought of as a super-sized, extended Active Defense effort, except that waves cannot bridge multiple slots, and unless a special technique is researched, they always travel outward in a straight line. Waves may be charged once and only once, to strike for 40% PsiPL instead. You must spend one entire post charging the given slot (that is, doing nothing else with that slot but charging it, including passive defense). The attack is then released the following post (you may not charge a wave more than once). When a wave strikes it's target, it is similar to a very large punch, losing all of its power on impact and ceasing to be there and then.

A rush, on the other hand, mimics a ki fighter's stream attack. It is a focused torrent of kinetic energy, projected much as a wave is. Rushes also strike for 20% PsiPL, and may be charged like waves up to 40% PsiPL. Like stream attacks, rushes continue striking their targets over time, potentially over several posts, so long as stamina endures -- Each post a rush lasts, it drains it's damage from stamina. Unlike their ki counterparts, multiple rushes may exist at one time, and other activities may take place while rushes are being performed, such as bodily movement. However, rushes are very large and tend to distort space slightly around them, such that no other psionic activity may be executed too close to a rush, including other rushes. More specifically, the direction of a rush may be no similar than 90 degrees' difference from the direction of any other psionic attacks from the same user. Another restriction on rushes is that each one must be sustained for at least 2 posts before it may be ceased (which means it can't be stopped until the second post after the post where the rush is released). Rushes may not be charged further after launch.

Bodily Movement

Psions may also augment the movement of their bodies with their powers, including assisting any complimentary ki powers they may have. Psions may move their bodies (or any portion thereof) at 25% PsiPL speed. Each whole portion of their body moved takes one slot, which means simply moving the whole body through flight is more practical than, say, mimicking the act of running. Autokinetic movement (bodily movement) does not require a medium, and so, it will work in a vacuum, such as in space. Slots may not be combined or overlapped for faster movement.

This can also be translated into melee attacks or projectile attacks, for races with detachable bodily projectiles like spines, or for thrown/fired weapons). Regardless of size, one slot can cause any body part or projectile to increase in power by 20% PsiPL and in speed by 25% PsiPL. As with basic bodily movement, multiple slots may not be combined for a stronger/faster attack. While it is possible to hold back power and/or speed, it is not possible to break up a slot over multiple body parts, projectiles, or other tasks. Projectiles must be accelerated within the sphere of influence, and may not unnaturally change course without an additional tech. It should be noted that if a psion attempts to use their body in melee using only Psi, they will not be protected from the impact, unless they leave Passive Defenses open, or accompany it with Active Defenses. An unprotected melee attack, if it strikes, can be quite messy.

Psionic acceleration works in conjunction with all other sources of speed. It should be noted, however, that psions may not accelerate anything faster than they can psionically sense.

Other Minor Psionic Gimmes

Along with their directly combat-related powers, psions also have other, less imposing gifts, such as...

  • Telepathy, which includes speaking to a sentient mind in any tongue they know, or using mild-intensity images (high-intensity, damaging images are controversial effects due to the tendency to want it to effect regardless of defense, and so may be difficult to obtain, even in a technique without a form of direct touch to the head). Psions may also read strong, basic emotions from subjects, and may block other psions from hearing their thoughts or emotions as well (non-psions usually have no such luxury).

  • Psiography, where two or more psions unite their minds to create an imaginary world where anything they think of can happen. Generally, one person hosts the virtual world, and the others spectate or passively participate, though powers of creation and manipulation can be given to other participants. It is an ideal place for making plans, or for refining technique. However, nothing in a Psiographical world actually carries over into the real world, aside from memories. Thus, a spar in a Psiographical world is fruitless, other than to refine technique. Each party has the option to decline participation at any time, and may not be forcibly dragged into the imaginary world.

  • Minor Telekinetic Articulation, which boils down to the basic telekinetic powers that most are accustomed to -- the formation of psionic extensions beyond the sphere of influence designed to grab objects up to 10 feet away and pull them toward the user. The strength in these articulations are minimal at best, and even the strongest psions have trouble lifting more than a few pounds with it without a technique. Also, the extension is not exactly a hand so much as a mass of directed will, so actual manipulation of objects such as the pulling of levers, twisting of knobs, and otherwise delicate acts are impossible without refinement unless a generic pull in the user's direction will suffice. On the other hand, anything within the sphere of influence can be manipulated with much greater accuracy and articulation, and with far greater volume and strength.

  • Super Sensing. Psions are revered as legends for being the kings and queens of sensing the goings-on around them. Within their spheres of influence, they have intensely intimate knowledge of everything, down to each individual particle of air. Outside of the sphere, for up to a mile in all directions, their sensing powers are somewhat limited further, but are still powerful enough to detect the presence of and give a somewhat specific gauge of various types of energy. Though they are no longer able to sense things in molecular detail, they can get a "taste" for what things consist of. However, as distance from the psion grows, the information received becomes increasingly dispassionate, and decoding it mentally from raw sensory data into meaningful concepts and thoughts can be a time-consuming process usually and eventually requiring the assistance of the psion's eyes for best results. Thus, a psion tends to ignore much of what they sense automatically. Unexpected attacks from behind can still easily catch a psion off guard, though not as easily as they would to a ki user or magic user. Statistically speaking, psions can sense objects moving up to 200% PsiPL in speed inside of their sphere of influence, and 150% outside.

The Psionic Realm

Psionic techniques tend to deal with the science side of the world, and so they have a rather wide reach when it comes to technique selection. Most frequently, psions tend to dabble in dimensional and spatial manipulation, though it can take extensive research into this field to get truly useful techniques. Psions tend to fall short in the creativity department as far as the effects of their techniques go, and so most of them tend to do things in a very orderly or patterned manner. Rarely do they enter into things where there are usually unexpected results without thoroughly examining every detail of what might happen on a scientific basis, through other technique research. They specialize, however, in manipulation of given variables, such as heat and cold, as well as rigidity (offensive as well as defensive).

Dispelling Preconceptions of Psions

Psions are one of the most largely misperceived and misrepresented character types in AltDBZ. This comes from the influence of other, less restricted worlds where psionically gifted people are usually treated very highly, know huge quantities of things, understand everything, can do anything with telekinesis, already know what will happen in the future, and so forth. As stated before, this (or instances similar to this) can happen because, sometimes, the psionic core of a sentient species develops with the rest of the brain in evolution. However, even in these cases, they are not always the know-all gurus of mental might. A psion may be able to sense much of everything around him or her, for example, but they don't always notice it. It's much like humans, when they walk into a noisy workshop, and they hear pistons pumping and gears grinding around them. They don't usually count exactly how many times a piston has pumped, nor do they usually overhear every conversation, since they tend to clash and obfuscate one another. So, psions tend to focus on one thing, and they then know that one thing better than non-psions don't.

So, we would be greatly appreciative if our players would not play psions as zippy, godmoding, predict-everything characters ... it deteriorates the quality of RP people have with them. Thanks!

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Modified: 31 Dec 2004
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